Wednesday, June 9, 2010

"Thousands of Protestant/Unionists" condemned for voting for er...

...the SDLP.

A classic of its genre from Ryan Morgan,South Down Sinn Féin:
"Last week Newry and Mourne Independent Unionist Councillor Henry Reilly dismissed the claims from Sinn Féin that during the recent Westminster election there had been an unofficial electoral pact between the DUP, UUP and SDLP in south Down. Cllr Reilly is of course wrong as this alliance certainly did exist and it was clearly designed to stop Sinn Féin at all costs. Even he concedes that a ‘significant number of Protestant/Unionist voters did add to the size of the Ritchie majority’ and then went on to remind people that the SDLP are ‘ardent nationalists’."
Unless the DUP/TUV/UUP *forced* their supporters directly to vote for the SDLP, then any "unofficial electoral pact" was surely between the electorate (whatever their *community* or religious affiliation) and the winning candidate?

When one heads up to the ballot box, you have (whomever you may have voted for last time, whatever "your" party may advise you and irrespective of your perceived "community" or religion) the democratic right to vote for whom you wish. If "Protestant" voters are happy enough to vote for an unashamed Irish nationalist party you'd have then thought any supposed heir to Wolfe-Tone et al would be happy.
“Sinn Féin in south Down will continue to work on behalf of everyone but unlike the SDLP we will not compromise our principles and determination to achieve a united Ireland just to retain power at any price.
SDLP compromised their "principles" by persuading "Protestant/Unionist" voters to vote for them? How do they do that then, I wonder?
"The pan nationalist/unionist electoral pact here in south Down only makes us more determined to achieve our goals and in doing so provide meaningful representation for our constituents."
Having a look at the reasons why "Protestant/Unionist" voters are more than happy to vote for the SDLP and not your party might well help you achieve your goal in the long run. But that "pan" nationalism/unionism sounds intriguing, wonder if it'll catch on?


thedissenter said...

Over at thedissenter there is a summary of all the numbers at the 2010 election looking at how to view them relative to the past performances. Sinn Fein seem stuck,as does the DUP, and the SDLP voter as disillusioned as the UUP voter. It does tend to suggest that there is the potential for something off-site to enter the fray. Realignment is not what the electorate seems to be seeking: more like reimagining or reinvention.

O'Neill said...

Seen and was impressed by your analysis. It's becoming dangerous territory to second-guess the electorate in NI; we have a slight advantage as Unionists in that we are starting off from the truth that the Union is secure but there seems to be no critical thinking taking place as to where we move from that point.

Lee said...

The Shinners are blamin the prods to hide the fact a couple of thousand of their own voters wouldn't stomach voting Ruane.

thedissenter said...

Agree O'Neill. Almost fear to put forward the second part of the analysis as the potential for a total bollocks being made of the idea is enormous, and I have been there before.